The Outset team recently travelled to Melbourne and toured through several renowned mid-century architects’ homes; The Robin Boyd Walsh Street house and Ernest Fooks’ Caulfield North Residence. Both homes are excellent examples of mid-century design and have been published in books internationally as exemplars of Australian modernism.
Robin Boyd designed the Walsh street family home in 1957 for himself, his wife Patricia and their children and it remains unchanged. It contains numerous pieces of furniture that Robin designed himself and also several Grant Featherston chairs.
Designed in two sections, the main living area and children’s wing, the house is orientated to take full advantage of the stunning, Japanese inspired internal courtyard. Robin and Patricia loved to entertain and as such the main part of the home was designed for this. The upstairs mezzanine was utilized as the main bedroom however it also doubled as their lounge area when guests arrived. The balcony off the bedroom also has a beautiful view over the courtyard.
Below, the open plan kitchen and dining area allowed Patricia to engage with guests while cooking. A very progressive and unique idea for the time. Below, an original set of house plans for the Walsh St home.
The Ernest Fooks residence in Caulfield North was designed for himself and wife Noemi. Throughout the home beautifully detailed concealed cavity doors and wall dividers were used. Entering through an unassuming entrance via a courtyard, you sweep through the main entrance into the foyer. From here the picture gallery opens into the main living space with Aalvar Alto inspired curved wooden ceiling. This home is of architectural significance for its highly creative work with inspirations drawn from Scandinavian and European mid-century architecture as well as the high level of craftsmanship displayed throughout the home.
The Outset team found the visit to these two iconic homes inspiring and stimulating came away with a great appreciation for some of Australia’s most outstanding and leading designers of that era.